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What Are Boerewors?


Boerewors are a type of sausage popular in South Africa made from minced beef and spices in a sausage casing. These sausages are preserved with salt and vinegar and are nitrate free. In South Africa, Boerewors are often made on the grill (they call it the Braai) and traditionally formed in a continuous spiral or cut up in 5 inch pieces.

Over the years, the traditions and recipes have been passed down from generations with several claiming the best Boerewors in South Africa. In the United States, the options are much more limiting especially if you keep kosher. David Libesman came to the US, the son of a South African butcher and searched everywhere to satisfy his craving for a taste of Boerewors. When he came up short, he decided to make his own and that was the beginning of Joburg Kosher.

Joburg Kosher offers three flavors of Boerewors, Traditional, Garlic and Spicy Peri-Peri. From the first time I tasted these sausages I was won over. I love that they are fresh meat sausages and the spices of toasted coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice are distinctive. They are also wonderful on the grill!  In fact Joburg offers the only kosher sausages with an edible beef casing that can be left on during cooking and gives it a wonderful taste and texture.

You may have noticed many non-kosher recipes call for sausage browned after removing the casing. Using Boerewors in this way opens up a wide range of possibilities for the kosher cook, like this delicious new recipe: Boerewors, Apple and Sage Stuffed Portobellos, but you can also keep things easy and leave the casing on in this recipe or any other.

I removed the casing and the meat browned beautifully. I sautéed onion, apples and celery in the oil leftover from browning the meat. I mixed it all with some bread and broth to create the most flavorful stuffing topping for a Portobello mushroom, although it would make an amazing standalone stuffing, too!

South Africans seem to have their own creative ways to serve their Boerwors like this recipe for Glazed "Pap and Wors" that our friend Sharon Lurie, from South Africa, has shared. I know my recipe isn’t as authentic, but it's okay to change things up at least here in America - don't you think?

Here is my recipe for Sausage, Apple and Sage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms